“We won’t know who we’re e playing until Saturday,” says head coach Adrian Batts, good naturedly. “If Beaver Falls wins, we’ll be the fifth seed. If they lose, well be the seventh seed. So we’ll just get back to shooting the ball and working on individual stuff.” Batts summarizes by saying that since the Jayhawks can’t prepare for a specific opponent, they’ll work on fundamentals.
“We have to be ready mentally,” Batts explains. “At this point in time you’re not going to fake too many teams out. I was really pleased with our effort that we put out [in the quarterfinal game with Beaver Falls.]Tthe game was much closer than the score showed.”
Batts is not exaggerating. Jeannette had been behind 12 points in the third quarter of Saturday’s game with Beaver Falls,. But they scored 11 unanswered points and were down only 37-35 at the third quarter buzzer. It was only at about 2 and a half minutes left in the game that the Beaver Falls Tigers managed to run away from Jeannette. Demetrious Cox led Jeannette’s scoring with 12 points. Players like Duke Brown and Seth Miller kept Jeannette in the game with clutch baskets and free throws.
“It was a combination of things,” Batts says about the loss. “Beaver Falls is the best team we’ve played this season. We didn’t shoot the ball very well and a lot of that came from the way Beaver Falls played. They’re really big and athletic and they really played hard.”
Batts has a ton of respect for Beaver Falls, but is not losing sight of his own team and season. Jeannette is taking a couple of days off before beginning preparations for the state tournament “Right now it’s just a good time … after a game like [the one with Beaver Falls], to take it all in,” Batts says.
The PIAA basketball tournament first round begins the second weekend of March (starting Friday, March 9).